U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Legal Services for the Institutionalized Mentally Ill - An Examination of the Kalamazoo (MI) State Hospital Ombudsman Program

NCJ Number
S J Hathaway
Date Published
133 pages
This study examines the ombudsman program at Kalamazoo State Hospital in Michigan, a State institution for the mentally ill, and makes recommendations relative to its future status.
It briefly reviews the historical status of mental patients and legal services, patients' rights as recipients of mental health services, the history and evolution of the ombudsman concept, the classical ombudsman model, and the mental health-related applications of ombudsman functions. The program is described in terms of the program rationale and objectives as delineated in the original grant, staffing, role characteristics and function of the ombudsman, client population served by the ombudsman, program budget, and development and utilization of program recordkeeping procedures. This information facilitates the comparison of the Kalamazoo ombudsman program with the classical ombudsman model. The study focuses on program operation duuring the period October 1, 1974, to June 30, 1976, or from the program's inception to its termination as a grant-supported experimental project. Conclusions are reported relative to the ombudsman client caseload, legal services caseload, program impact, program deficiencies, and the role/function of the Kalamazoo ombudsman. The study recommends that the Kalamazoo ombudsman program be funded as a permanent State mental health program incorporating changes (as described) in program designation and purpose, program budget/staff, and program procedures. Tables, graphs, and over 40 references are included.